Understanding Bees and How to Attract Them in Your Garden
Bees. The buzzing, flying yellow bugs that many of us run away from and hope we don’t get stung. But what would happen if bees disappeared? How bad would things really be? If you want to know more about the bees and their value to our greater environment, keep reading.
What role do bees play in our lives? Here are some interesting and fascinating facts about bees from Life Basics Organics.
Bees Play an Important Role in Nature and Food
- Bees pollinate 80% of all flowering plants on Earth.
- One single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day.
- Bee pollination helps to provide nourishing habitats for animals like birds and other insects.
- Bees are major contributors in the floral landscapes we know and love in nature.
- Bees pollinate about 75% of fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the U.S.
- Did you know almonds are totally dependent on bee pollination? Without bees, we would not have them.
- In addition, avocados, apples and cherries are more than 90% dependent upon bee pollination.
- As if that wasn’t enough, cucumbers, kiwis and melons are majorly dependent on bee pollination, too.
What’s one of the biggest reasons to care about saving the bees? HONEY! No honey bees, we would have no delicious honey.
Sadly, Modern Agriculture is Killing Bees
Are our nation’s bee populations suffering? Just check out these shocking statistics:
- Scientists believe honey bees are dying from pesticides
- A third of the 77 million acres of soybean crops use seeds coated in pesticides linked to killing bees
- The chemical industry has spent millions on PR campaigns to deny a link between pesticide use and bee deaths
- In 1947, there were 6 million honey bee hives in the U.S. Today, there are under 3 million
Bees aren’t just a trendy topic from the past five years, they’ve had an important role in history.
- Bees have been producing honey from flowering plants for 10-20 million years.
- Honey is mentioned in the Vedic texts and Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform writings.
- Honey was used in ancient Egyptian kitchens as a sweetening agent and as a tribute or form of payment.
- Honey was used for medicinal purposes in American Colonies in the 17th Century.
Could bees be your new side hustle?
- In 2010, honey bees provided more than $19 billion dollars in added value to the agriculture business.
- Commercial beekeeping businesses are commonly family businesses passed down for generations.
- $150 million of honey is produced every year in the United States.
- The U.S. is phasing out GMOs and bee-killing pesticides in all wildlife refuges by 2016.
- Greenpeace has collected more than 500,000 signatures in their petition to save the bees.
- Avaaz has collected more than 3 million signatures in their petition to save the bees. Beyond Pesticides works to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides.
- The New York City Beekeeping Organization educates and promotes the benefits of beekeeping to the world.
- Bee Weaver has been providing chemical-free bees and queens across the country and worldwide for 125 years.
- The ABF works in the interest of all beekeepers and those associated with the industry to ensure the future of the honey bee.
- Big Dipper Wax makes hand-crafted beeswax candles and donates 10% of net profits to organizations devoted to promoting sustainable beekeeping.
- TakePart.com has dedicated a campaign to the health, well-being and restoration of the bee population.
- The good folks at @beeraw work to help save endangered bees and promote crucial-to-the-planet sustainability.
- The @vanishingbees documentary was created to reveal the shocking truth behind the declining bee population.
What are the Importance of Bees?
Now that you know some fun facts about bees, here are 7 very important reasons bees matter from Buzz About Bees.
- Bees are Crucial for Pollination
- Bees Complete the Food Webs
- Bees Add a Financial Contribution to Society
- Bees Benefit Biodiversity
- Trees Need Bees
- Bees Help Sustenance Farmers
- Bees Help Humanity
How to Attract Bees to Your Garden
If you want to help pollination and attract bees, plant these in your garden:
- Agastache (anise hyssop)
- Asclepias (butterfly weed)
- Echinacea (coneflower)
- Geranium (cranesbill)
- Monarda (bee balm)
- Papaver (poppies)
- Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan)
- Trifolium (clover)
Help Save the Bees! Bees play a very important role to our planet, humanity, food and life in general. If you want to help bees thrive, try planting plants that attract them to help increase pollination. Check out our other blog posts for a variety of information on gardening and visit your local SummerWinds Nursery for products and gardening help!
About SummerWinds Nursery: SummerWinds Garden Centers is a leading high-end retailer of garden and nursery products. Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, SummerWinds operates retail nurseries in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, and in Silicon Valley, California, making it one of the largest independent retail nursery companies in the west. SummerWinds appeals to both the serious and casual gardeners, with a broad selection of premium gardening products and a friendly and knowledgeable staff. www.summerwindsnursery.com